The US Virgin Islands offer plenty to enjoy on land,
but if you don't take to the water at some point,
you'll be missing some of the best that this Caribbean territory has to offer. Diving in the US Virgin Islands
is an absolute delight to enjoy. Crystal clear waters,
a year round season, and scores of reefs are just some
of the things that make US Virgin Islands diving so excellent.
Whether you have been scuba diving for years or it's
your first time, the US Virgin Islands present a most
worthy underwater terrain. The British
Virgin Islands also offer plenty to enjoy beneath
the ocean's surface, so your Virgin Islands diving
expeditions can be quite numerous if you please.
Many United States Virgin Islands (USVI) resorts have PADI certified dive shops on-site, so if you are
serious about diving in the US Virgin Islands, then you
might choose to stay at one that does. Some of these resorts
even offer a complimentary scuba diving clinic, which
should help you become more comfortable with the sport
if you are new to it. You don't need to be an expert
diver, or swimmer for that matter, to get a lot out of
your diving trip. Since the seas are generally calm around
the Virgin Islands, the conditions are often in favor
of even the most timid of divers. Plus, the relative warmth
of the water is quite an added advantage. Since the dive
shops in the Virgin Islands offer scuba diving training
and certification classes, you can be somewhat of an expert
diver by the time you pack your bags to head home. If
you're not sure if scuba diving is right for you,
most dive shops will offer a sort of trial experience,
and these are commonly known as "resort" courses.
After a short orientation, it's often off to a swimming
pool to see what basic diving is like. Afterwards, if
you're interested, you can take to the ocean and
execute a shallow dive with an instructor always by your
If you are sure that you want to enjoy Virgin Islands diving, then you can work your way up towards getting certified with one of the dive shops. Before you go near the water, you will need to complete the academic part of the course, which you can do at home before you arrive. If you get the classroom exercises out of the way before you start your US Virgin Islands vacation, then you can enjoy more time in the water. After the academic part of things, those looking to get certified will likely take to a pool for a couple training dives. You can also take care of this part of the course at home. After that, you'll head to the open water of the ocean, where you will likely execute four dives before becoming certified. After that, you're good to go! You'll then be able to enjoy not only diving in the US Virgin Islands if you get certified, but also in the rest of the world, which is a nice thing.
Once you are cleared for open water dives, you can really start to enjoy US Virgin Islands diving. Now, the only question is where to go diving? Well, there are a myriad of great sites for Virgin Islands diving between both the US and British holdings. One of the best destinations for Virgin Islands diving is Buck Island, which can easily be reached from the northeast shore of St Croix island. The underwater visibility at Buck Island is around 100 feet, which is impressive, and the grottoes and labyrinths here present experienced divers with quite a bit to explore. Stingrays, barracudas, and colorful coral are some of the marine creatures you can expect to see when diving off of Buck Island. Back on St Croix, the Frederiksted Pier is certainly worth diving. It's hailed as the Caribbean's best pier dive, and below the surface here you are bound to see shrimp, sea horses, sponges, and plume worms.
Pier diving is just one of the kinds of Virgin Islands diving that you can experience. Wreck diving is another form of diving you might enjoy. This involves visiting a submerged ship, such as the HMS Rhone, which is found off of Salt Island in the British Virgin Islands. The HMS Rhone is arguably the overall best Virgin Islands diving spot. In fact, according to many, it's the top diving spot in the entire Caribbean! The HMS Rhone sank in 1867, but interestingly enough, the ship is still in relatively good shape. Covered in coral and a perfect refuge for fish, it's a diving gem, that's for sure. In addition to pier and wreck diving, those looking to do some British or US Virgin Islands diving might interest themselves in night diving. This is a totally different experience than day diving, as you might expect, and it would be understandable if you were a bit too timid to try it. Your dive guide will be able to take you to all the right spots day or night, and after a short consultation, you're bound to figure out exactly which kind of diving is best for you.
Ah, Virgin Islands diving. It is just such a wonderful
thing. The chance to see coral reefs and a rich mix of
tropical fish and marine life is simply invigorating.
Speaking of chances, the chances are quite good that once
you try just a little bit of Virgin Islands diving, you
will be hooked for life. Thankfully, you can always return
for more if you want to. Diving packages are easy to arrange
in the Virgin Islands, and as mentioned, the sport can
be enjoyed throughout the year. It is always a good idea
to go with a dive package, or to arrange your diving in
the US Virgin Islands in advance, as you will have a better chance of assuring
your spot on the boat. This is especially true between
the months of December through April, which is the peak
season for Virgin Islands travel.